Shocking Moment Essex Cop PC Charlie Thompson Assaults A Handcuffed Man

Video courtesy of IOPC

This is the shocking moment a police officer assaulted a man who’d been detained by colleagues and was sat on the ground in handcuffs.

PC Charlie Thompson, 25, attacked the man after learning he was suspected of assaulting another officer.

The officer, who serves with Essex Police, forced the man’s head to the ground and struck him to the side of the head, despite his protests that he wasn’t resisting arrest.

PC Thompson was deemed to have used unnecessary force and was found guilty of assault by beating following a two-day trial at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how he’d responded to a report from colleagues who’d detained a man on suspicion of assaulting an officer on the A127, in Basildon, Essex, after being stopped for a suspected driving offence.

No charges were brought against the man following the incident, on January 19, 2022.

Body-worn video, played in court, showed how the man was seated on the ground with his hands in handcuffs behind him when PC Thompson arrived.

PC Thompson asks the man’s name before learning from a colleague that he’s suspected of an assaulting a colleague.

He then pushes the man’s head to the ground and says, “Have you just assaulted an officer?” before elbowing him in the side of the head, despite the man’s protests that he’s not resisting police.

PC Thompson continues: “I’m not having f****** having any of this bullshit.

“Stop f****** about.

“Lie on the f****** ground.”

The man’s legs were strapped by another officer and he was sat upright again, but PC Thompson pushed him to the ground a second time.

None of the seven other officers who appear in the minute-long video appear to challenge his actions.

Delivering the guilty verdict, district judge Christopher Williams noted police officers do not have a license to act aggressively.

He said he did not accept that the man posed any threat to PC Thompson or that the officer honestly believed that he did.

The judge added that he struggled to see the necessity for any of the force used and he described the second time the man was pushed to the ground as embarrassing, demeaning and a total abuse of position.

PC Thompson was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year, and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

His conviction followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: “Police officers may only use force when it is necessary, proportionate, and reasonable in the circumstances. There was no justification for PC Thompson to use force against the man, who was not resisting in any way and posed no genuine risk to PC Thompson or his colleagues. His actions brought great distress to the man and he has rightly been held to account.”

The investigation found the officer, who has been removed from normal duties, has a case to answer for gross misconduct and he’ll now face a misconduct hearing.

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “We are aware of the conviction of an Essex Police officer in connection with an assault investigation carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in Basildon.

“Officers had been called to the area after reports of a colleague being assaulted on 19 January 2022.

“As soon as we became aware of the problem, we made a referral to the IOPC and the officer has not since been on normal duties, interacting with the public face to face.

“We police with the consent of the public and officers are trained in using force when dealing with incidents and making arrests. However, that force must always be proportionate to the threat being posed to them.

“In this case, a court has found that the officer got this interaction wrong, and he has been convicted of assault.

“Appropriately, conduct proceedings will now be progressed.”

The force said no other officers were facing any disciplinary proceedings in connection with the incident.

An IOPC spokesperson added: “We assessed whether there was any indication that any of the other officers present may have breached police standards of professional behavior. We found there wasn’t.”

Video courtesy of IOPC.


An investigative news agency that uncovers agenda-setting stories from across the UK

Receive Free Daily Police Misconduct Hearing Listings

Subscribe now